In my last post, I mentioned the idea of ‘learning addiction’:
…with the continual increase in knowledge (and technology) production, and such ready access to it (via the internet etc), I am seeing a form of ‘learning addiction’ arise, for example, in people that are subscribed to 600 blogs, or in my case, a ‘healthy’ number of podcasts.
This reminds me of the ancient Greek concepts of knowledge. They had three different terms to describe different aspects of knowledge:
- The aquisition of knowledge. Learning, and applying rules.
- The application of knowledge. Trades and crafts.
- The ‘being’ of knowledge. Experts that are so familiar with a topic they do not have to think about it.
Understandably, thhis is also a progression from the most basic form of knowledge to the most complex and revered form. (As an aside, this inability to describe knowledge fully in English has been blamed for not being able to fully comprehend and therefore deal with knowledge, and has thus been blamed for failures of large knowledge management systems).
This is all very interesting, but what has it got to do with ‘learning addiction’? It seems to me that ‘learning addiction’ is solely based in the ‘aquisition of knowledge’. I find it helpful to regularly ask myself if my dealings with knowledge are purely aqusition, or if they are moving towards application and being. Sure, some will always be for entertainment and I don’t think that is a bad thing (in moderation), but if you read the morning newspaper etc, how much of that do you think you will be able to apply to your life or your work?